ST. PARIS, Ohio (WDTN) — Thursday afternoon was the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for St. Paris Shoppers the first grocery and deli to open in two years.

In 2019, the IGA grocer store closed, forcing village residents to choose between shopping at the local Dollar General or travel out of town for grocery needs.

“We had no choice we either had to go to Piqua, Urbana or New Carlisle…This is good for the village especially the elderly to not have to travel out of town,” said Julie Urquhart who lived in the area.

Now, with the opening of the new shop, there is fresh produce, meats and dairy along with laundry service and other household items. Owners Raj Vangaveti & Harash “Harry” Readdy say they grew up in a small town where grocery stores were few and far between, so they understand the need that the community has for a store like theirs.

They’re both also committed to supporting the local community. So far they have hired local-living employees, including high school students, and partnered with local farmers to sell their products in the store.

“When you shop at the chain stores you get what you get… you don’t really get the touch the feel, [but] you will get that here in this store,” said Vangaveti.

Right now the store also has laundry services and gaming machines. There are plans to open the attached ice cream shop soon and eventually add a gas station to the location on Main Street.

St. Paris Shoppers Grocery & Deli is located on 311 W. Main Street in St. Paris.